Friday 31 October

Wednesday started with the 0830 school mass. This was the last which musically I’ll share with colleagues. So I set about planning the music for the next 3 masses unaided. I then delivered my choices and the resources to the music teacher so that she could be ‘on board’.

I also attended a planning meeting regarding All Souls. There is the tradition here of reading a litany made up of the names of all the deceased parishioners from the last year at one Mass over the weekend. There were 120 names and more are coming in! Again new ideas came from fruitful sharing.

In the middle of our meeting the Pastor entered and declared that I could have his bed. Some explanation may be necessary here, I think. In the year 2000 I had been invited to play for the National Mass in Birmingham with all the bishops etc. Fr Peter Jones was directing the music and he got me to play piano for it. I stayed the previous night in a bed he’d only just had delivered. I did not expect Peter to announce to thousands of catholics assembled in the National Exhibition Centre that I had slept in his bed last night … without offering some sort of explanation! The Pastor in Tampa had been given a posh bed a while ago but finding it unsuitable for him he moved it to a room for visiting priests. When I arrived in Florida I used that room and that bed for a few nights. When the Pastor learned that I had enjoyed a good night’s sleep he offered it to me. I thought he had forgotten so sent him a reminder and so the decision was made to move it on Thursday. I’d thought of hiring some movers professionally but the deacon with an arm still bandaged would not hear this and together we shifted it during the heat of Thursday afternoon.

I had a bit of a rest in the afternoon before returning for choir practice later that Wednesday evening.

Thursday began with a visit to the local office supplies shop to place an order for coloured paper so that the Worship Aids I was producing might match the season’s colours. Lovely, eh? I then completed some outstanding tasks and shifted the aforementioned bed about which I’ll say little more than that it was an awkward piece! I then went shopping for bed linen etc and thought about fitting it but that would have to wait another night. I dropped into my local bar and there met a guy who worked from Chevron Oil and was now working in London and living in Camberley (although he made a right pig’s ear out of the pronunciation of that). He made the Cam like that of Cambridge. He was good enough to buy me a drink just before I left to watch a film of TV.

Friday morning found me at the beach again for a few hours before lunch and then the two All Saints Vigil Masses. It is now 7.30pm and I am expected to be back in church for the morning mass at 8.30am!

Dinner I think!


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